My first encounter with the chicory happened in the canteen of the Catholic University Leuven (Belgium). I selected it accidentaly from the menu offer because it looked like a steamed vegetable. But when I tasted it my face turned bitter because of its bitter taste. I didn’t like it at all! But then about one year later when I was offered a curry flavored chicory soup on a wedding reception, it tasted so good, so I asked for the recipe. And well that was I think the turning point and after that event I became suddenly addicted to the chicory.
Ingredients: 4 chicory sprouts, sugar or stevia, 2 tbs of rapsberry vinegar, salt and pepper, 100 gr smoked duck filet without skin, 50 gr of goose liver, créme brulée torch
Direction: Trim away the stalk ends of the chicory, discard any limp or tired outer leaves, then strip into leaves. Bestrew the outer leaves with sugar then caramelized under a broiler/salamander or with a blow torch until crisp. Cut the rest of the chicory fine and flavor with salt and pepper. Pour over raspberry vinegair. Chop the duck filets very fine and make creamy the goose liver with a fork. Place liver and finely chopped duck filets onto caramelized chicory leaves. Serve it with fresh baguette. Excellent starter for the festive season!
Soatéed chicory with or without ham
Ingredients: Large heads of chicory, 80g butter, 6 tablespoons fine, white fresh breadcrumbs, 2 large cloves of garlic, squashed flat but not peeled, 1 small lemon, 5 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
Trim the heads of chicory, cutting off imperfect leaves and trimming the root. Slice each head in half from root to tip.Warm the butter in a casserole dish over a moderate flame, then place the halved chicory in it cut side up so that it sits snugly inside. Tuck in the garlic. Let both chicory and garlic colour slightly in the hot butter, then turn them over. Cover with a lid and leave to cook slowly in the butter. Take care that the chicory does not colour too quickly. Once the underside turns pale gold, squeeze over the lemon, then scatter the crumbs and grated parmesan evenly over the top. Transfer, still covered, to an oven preheated 190 degrees and bake for around 30 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Serve hot, as a side dish.
Chicory with curry
4-6 chicory, halved, or quartered if large, 50g butter, splash of dry white wine, 150ml vegetable stock, hot, 2 tbsp finely chopped flatleaf parsley, 2 teaspoons curry
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Place the chicory, cut-side up, in an ovenproof dish. Dot all over with the butter and splash over the wine and stock.
2. Season with black pepper and with lots of curry then cover with foil. Cook for 20-25 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for a further 10 minutes until really tender. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.
It makes excellent sidedish (with lam, duck or chicken)
Stuffed guinea-fowl with in porto wine caramelized chicory
Ingredients: 1 guinea fowl, 4-6 chicories, porto wine, bay leaf, thyme, 1 chicken bouillon, 5-6 cloves or grounded
for the filling: two slices of bread, or bread crumbs, cream cheese, Philadelphia, 1 onion, chopped parsley, 150 gr chicken liver (optional), 1 egg
First prepare stuffing. Mix bread crumb with the egg, the finely chopped onion, chicken liver, cream cheese and season with parsley. Put it in the food processor and blend well. Season the guinea fowl with salt and pepper. Loosen the skin and place the stuffing in the cavity. Secure the edges with kitchen string and sauté bird in melted butter, initially over high heat then lower. Season and turn guinea fowl as you do so. After twenty minutes add chicories (cut in quarters) and pour over 300 ml of porto wine. Add bay leaf, cloves and simmer chicory in the fat of the bird. After about 25 minutes when the guinea fowl is tender prepare potato purée and serve with it.